Ecommerce Email:
19 Type of Emails you should be sending Religiously

E-commerce email marketing can be quite like navigating through a field of landmines. One wrong step and you’ll lose a lot of subscribers and, conversely, your revenue.

That’s why you need to know exactly which types of e-commerce emails you should be sending religiously. When you do, your cash register will be singing choruses that will make you smile all the way to the bank.

Wait, Isn’t Email Dead? 5 Reasons E-Commerce Stores Still Need To Use Email

I know what you’re probably thinking – email is an archaic communication that people don’t care about anymore. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Email is alive and kicking every other marketing channel’s butt. Let me quickly give you 5 good reasons why e-commerce stores still need to use email as part of their marketing strategy.

  1. More People Use Email than Any Other Channel

    One of the biggest reasons to invest in email marketing as an e-commerce business is that email has the highest number of users among all communication channels. According to research conducted by Radicati, there are close to 4 billion active email users. Compared that to the 3.5 billion active social media users and email definitely has the edge.

  2. Your Customers Prefer Email

    Yes, despite all the hype over other channels such as social media, chatbots, and other communication channels, consumers still prefer email as their top communication channel when interacting with their favorite brands. This means if you’re not using email to keep in touch with your customers, you’re sabotaging your own success.

  3. Email Offers More Personalization Opportunities

    Of all the marketing channels you may have in your toolbox, none allows you to create and send personalized campaigns at the level which email does. By leveraging powerful tracking and analytics tools, email marketing software gives you insight into who your customer is and what they’re looking for. As a result, you can easily tailor a message that converts better than any message you can post on social media or anywhere else.

  4. Email is More Personal

    Marketing is a lot like asking a girl out on a date. Once she gives you her number, chances of converting, sorry, winning her are higher. Getting a customer’s email address is much like getting a girl’s phone number. It’s permission to enter their personal space. This is why emails have more impact than social media posts, push notifications, and any other types of messages.

  5. Offers Insanely High ROIs

    $44 for every $1 you spend. Those are the kinds of ROI email is capable of bringing in. With numbers like that, email marketing, then, is a no brainer. Note, however, that getting insane ROIs like these is no child’s play. You need to know your way around email marketing. And one aspect of email marketing you need to nail is to know the types of e-commerce emails you need to be sending to your subscriber base.

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Now that you know how important email is to your business, let’s quickly look at 16 e-commerce email types you need to be sending to your subscribers.

  • Lead Nurture Emails
  • Promotional Emails
  • Engagement Emails
  • Transactional Emails
Welcome Email Sequence

A welcome email sequence is specifically designed to become more familiar with your brand. They do this by:

  • Reminding subscribers how and why they ended up on your list
  • Encouraging engagement with your brand and emails
  • Set the tone and expectations of future emails

While the exact number of emails needed for an effective welcome email sequence varies, anything between 3-7 should do the job. This number is determined by a number of factors such as your business model, for example.

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Reactivation Email Campaign

The average email list decays by about 22% every year. However, of the 22% that have stopped engaging with your emails, a sizable percentage can be encouraged to revive their relationship with your brand. This can be pulled off by running a reactivation campaign. A reactivation campaign is simply a series of emails designed to get inactive subscribers to open and interact with your emails.

So, before you delete those inactive subscribers, run a reactivation campaign first. You’ll be surprised at how many subscribers will “come back”.

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Offer Emails

An offer email is any kind of email you send out to your subscribers to offer them an incentive such as a discount, coupon, free shipping or training, or any other limited time offer. Offer emails can be used to:

  • Drive sales
  • Reward loyal customers
  • Hook new subscribers

No matter your business model, sending out offer emails should be something you should do regularly. You’ll definitely benefit from them as this is the type o0f email with the highest open and engagement rates.

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Upsell Emails

As the name suggests, upsell emails are designed to get a customer who has recently purchased to get an upgraded version of your product. One of the reasons this type of email works so well is that your customer already trusts your brand and products are more likely to respond to your recommendations. And no, this is not a form of grabbing as much money as you can from a customer, proper upselling is offering your customers a better product. A few tips on creating winning upsell email campaigns include:

  • Make it easy to upgrade. Especially if you sell a product that requires a refill, you can send a reminder email that includes an offer to upgrade.
  • Show the benefits of upgrading. People want to know what they get for spending those few extra dollars.
  • Leverage purchase momentum. When a customer completes a purchase, you have their attention. Before they start thinking of other things, send an order confirmation with a twist – highlighting better products.

Many people don’t buy something until they need it – and sometimes, you need to show them what they really need.

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Cross-Sell Emails

Like upsell emails, cross-sell emails are also aimed at getting a paying customer to buy something else from your store.

What’s the difference?

While upselling involves getting customers to buy a better product or upgrade their account, cross-selling involves selling your customers other products related to what they’ve already bought.

When cross-selling:

  • Promote products that add value. These are products that will help your customers have a better experience with the product they bought.
  • Personalize your pitch. Show your customers that you’re not just pitching them to make a sale. You’re suggesting a more holistic solution.
  • Package your “cross-sell” well. Rather than just showing your customers what else they need, design your email in such a way that it shows how the purchased product looks when used in conjunction with the products you’re cross-selling.

Executed well, a cross-sell campaign can help not only drive sales but also position you as an authority to be trusted for recommendations.

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New Product Announcement

Another email you have to send to your email list religiously is the new product announcement email. Every time you have a new product in stock, let your subscribers know, after all, that’s probably one of the reasons they signed up in the first place.

New product emails work best with those who love to be the first to own the latest stuff. Using your analytics tools, you can easily identify them and run a campaign specifically targeted for them. A couple of advantages of sending out this type of e-commerce email include:

  • Jump starts your sales. Your loyal customers are the best people to get your new products flying off the shelves.
  • Encourages word of mouth marketing. People love showing off their new purchase, this on its own is great marketing for you. Even if they don’t buy it, if your new product is good, they’ll probably share your email with their friends.

When you launch a new product or get a new inventory, don’t expect people to find it by visiting your website. Be proactive and let your subscribers know about it. You can even build buzz by talking about the new product before it goes on sale.

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Holiday Emails

Everyone loves holidays.

They are a time of great joy and loose purse strings.

And that’s why you need to help your customers celebrate in style – by gifting themselves or a loved one with something from your shop. You do this by sending out holiday emails. As the name suggests, these are email campaigns sent over a holiday season. Here are a few pointers to ensure your e-commerce email campaign results in some merriment on your part:

  • Start your campaign before the holiday. One main reason for this is so that you ensure your customers get their goodies in time for the holiday. You can drive more sales by encouraging your customers to order before a certain date for the sake of timely shipping.
  • Intensify your campaign as the holiday approaches. If there’s one thing that helps drive sales over a holiday season, it’s the excitement of the holidays. Leverage this by intensifying your campaigns as the holiday draws near.
  • Throw in a freebie. Freebies have a greater impact over a holiday season as your customers will see them as your gift to them. Throw in anything from free shipping to a free accessory to encourage more spending.

One disadvantage of running holiday email campaigns is that everyone will be doing it. This is why you need to design your campaign and email content in such a way that they stand out from the crowd.

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Cart Abandonment Email

While an abandoned cart is a pain in the…, well you know, it is actually a great marketing opportunity. This is because an abandoned cart tells you that the customer was ready to buy.

No matter the reason for your customer failing to complete the checkout process, send out a cart recovery email campaign. According to research, cart recovery emails have a whopping 43.3% open rate. The same study reveals that the conversion rate for cart abandonment emails is slightly over 18%. This is why one of the most important e-commerce emails in your repertoire is the cart abandonment email.

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Birthday Emails

Everyone needs to feel appreciated. That’s why you need to send birthday emails to your customers. Not only will your customers feel appreciated, but they’ll spend more on your store too – 382% more than they would spend when you send a regular promotional email. That’s right, birthday emails generate 342% more revenue than other promotional emails. Definitely not an e-commerce email to be left out of your arsenal.

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Newsletter Emails

Many e-commerce stores overlook the humble newsletter in their email marketing strategy. That’s because they think this type of email has no returns. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Newsletter emails, although primarily designed to be informative, can be used to promote your products. In fact, experts agree that a newsletter email should be 90% informational and 10% promotional.

This means a newsletter is like a double edged sword – driving engagement and sales at the same time. Therefore, omitting it from your email marketing strategy is shooting yourself in the foot.

So why are newsletters some of the best e-commerce email types to keep your subscribers engaged? Here’s why:

  • Customer’s love knowing what’s happening with their favorite brands
  • Newsletters give subscribers a breather from promotional emails
  • Executed well, newsletters can be used to tell your brand story. This will help build your reputation
  • Newsletters are an excellent way to showcase your authority and expertise

If you’re not sending out newsletters, there’s no better time to start than now. They are a great way to build a tribe of loyal customers.

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Educational Emails

Educational emails have one primary goal – to give your customers value-based content. This is content that is beneficial to them or helps them get the best experience out of your product. One of the best ways to deliver educational emails is right after they sign up. This will show that your business is more customer-focused than it is sales-focused, thereby helping you earn their trust.

So what kind of content can you include in an educational email?

  • Tips, hacks, and maintenance instructions
  • Links to your best content
  • Short tutorials (video or text-based)

The sky’s the limit as to what kind of content you can pack into your educational emails. The key is to give your audience information that they find useful.

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Customer Loyalty Emails

If there’s one thing that will help you inspire your customers to stick with your brand, it’s customer appreciation. Don’t take your loyal customers for granted and assume they’ll continue being loyal. Customer loyalty is never automatic – you have to foster it. And one great way to do that is by sending out customer loyalty emails.

A customer loyalty email is simply an email whose purpose is to reward loyal customers for their support. You can show your appreciation by:

  • Giving them a freebie
  • Offering a discount or coupon
  • Sending an appreciation card

An appreciated customer always appreciates in their customer lifetime value. This is because they’ll not only keep on buying from you, but they’re also more likely to increase their spending.

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Thank You Email

While everyone does send thank you emails, many e-commerce businesses dont send them the right way. Sure, the main purpose of a thank you email is to thank your customers for their patronage, but it can do so much more than that. It can lead to repeat buyers if you design it well and send it strategically. Some ideas for strategically sending thank you emails (apart from after a sale) include sending:

  • After a customer signs up. Use a thank you email to encourage a subscriber to shop around.
  • When a customer reaches a certain milestone. When a customer hits a certain milestone (like being a subscriber for a year) send them a thank you email.
  • When you hit a certain milestone. Thank your customers for helping you achieve your goals.

Of course, every thank you email you send must also contain an offer as a reward. By so doing, you’ll be killing 2 birds with one stone – appreciating your customer and driving sales.

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Order Confirmation Email

When a customer purchases a product, it’s important that you confirm the order with them using an order confirmation email. In essence, this is simply a digital receipt.

But for the savvy marketer it’s more than that – it’s another great marketing opportunity. Designed well, an order confirmation email can be used to spark excitement and foster repeat sales. Here’s how you can do just that:

  • Build excitement. To do this, use your email to let your customer know where their product is and when it will reach them.
  • Build trust. Highlight your returns policy in your email so customers can know they can trust you if anything were to go wrong.
  • Grow your following. Use your order confirmation email to encourage first time customers to sign up for your newsletter or follow you on social media.

Every opportunity you get to communicate with a customer is a marketing opportunity. And an order confirmation email is no different,

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Feedback/Survey Email

One e-commerce email that can have a big impact on your business’ growth is a feedback email. This is because it’s the one email that gets your customers to tell you exactly what they need from you and how they want it delivered. How do you get customers to share their thoughts with you?

  • Keep your email design simple
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Use personalization to let them know you really need their help
  • Explain why their feedback will benefit them
  • Offer an incentive for participating

Customer feedback is essential in ensuring you offer your customers exactly what they need. Failure to do so could lead to a high unsubscribe rate.

While feedback emails usually fall under transactional emails (if sent post purchase and in regard to a purchase) they also work well as engagement emails if they’re sent independently from a transaction.

4 Emails You Should Be Sending (But Probably Aren’t)

Now that we’ve looked at the top 15 e-commerce emails you should be sending, let’s quickly look at 4 that few do send. Remember, just one slight difference in your email marketing campaign can set you apart from your competition. And this section will show you 4 emails that will give you that differentiation factor.

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Now that we’ve looked at the top 15 e-commerce emails you should be sending, let’s quickly look at 4 that few do send. Remember, just one slight difference in your email marketing campaign can set you apart from your competition. And this section will show you 4 emails that will give you that differentiation factor.

Set Your Preferences Email

One of the reasons for high unsubscribe rates is that customers get fed up with receiving too many emails. This is why it’s important that you send your subscribers an email asking them to set their preferences. The result will be an increase in customer satisfaction and engagement.

Another advantage of sending your subscribers to a preference center is that they will self-segment, cutting down your work of creating segments. The result is that you’re more able to send personalized emails, which in turn results in an increase in sales.

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"You Missed It" Email

“We’re sorry you missed our special offer…”

This is one e-commerce email that can help you maximize your special offer campaigns. Sending this email to subscribers who missed your offer is a great way to:

  • Remind customers who forgot to take advantage of your special offer
  • Leverage the power of FOMO in the case of subscribers who just hate missing a good deal

Everything a subscriber does, and in this case what they don’t do, is an opportunity for you to enhance your marketing campaign. Sending a ÿou missed it” email is definitely a great way to extend your marketing campaign and increase its impact.

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Browse Abandonment Email

Sometimes shoppers visit your website and browse through your category product pages but don’t load their cart. In fact, only about 10% of website visitors actually make it to your cart page.

This is why you need to utilize browse abandonment emails.

Browse abandonment emails are simply emails that are designed to retarget website visitors who leave your site before purchasing anything. When a subscriber does this, it’s easy to notice. Send them an email to ask if they were looking for something specific and that you can help them find it. Doing this is a great way to increase your conversion rates.

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Complete Your Profile Email

Sometimes a new customer can get distracted whilst in the midst of completing their profile. Don’t lose heart when this happens. All you need to do is send them an email reminding them to complete their profile. Of course, an incentive will increase your open and conversion rates.

So, before you delete those inactive subscribers, run a reactivation campaign first. You’ll be surprised at how many subscribers will “come back”.

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When it comes to winning the battle for the inbox, you’ll have to make sure you only play your “A” game. Implement email marketing best practices. Here are a few you can’t afford to ignore:

  • Never, under any circumstances, rent or buy an email list

  • Segment your email list

  • Always personalize subject lines and content

  • Use mobile responsive templates

  • Keep your main message above the fold

  • Clean your email list regularly

  • Avoid using “no-reply” in the sender address field (it’s a total turn off)

  • Offer incentives to increase open and engagement rates

  • Use an ESP that aligns with your business model and goals

  • Always A/B test

While this is not a comprehensive list of email marketing best practices, they are enough to get you started scoring some big wins with your email marketing.

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    It would be unfair on you if we concluded this post without warning you about some common email marketing mistakes you need to avoid. This is because any slip up could cost you a lot of money. So, here are the top e-commerce email mistakes you need to avoid:

    1. Failing to get permission : Use double opt-in to avoid this.
    2. Failing to get permission : Sending too many emails : Set up up a preference center and give your subscribers control over frequency of communication.
    3. Failing to get permission : Weak email copy : Always engage the help of professionals to craft your email copy.
    4. Failing to get permission : Poor email design : Design impacts user experience, therefore choose templates that are simple and uncluttered.
    5. Failing to get permission : Failing to plan for mistakes : Mistakes, although unwanted, happen. Always have a contingency plan in the eventuality of sending a wrong email or promoting the wrong product.
    6. Failing to get permission : Making the call-to-action hard to find : Your CTA is a critical component of your email and should always be prominent.
    7. Failing to get permission : Creating image heavy emails: Images make emails load slower. And some email clients and email users turn images off by default. When this happens, your emails will become unreadable.

    These 7 email marketing mistakes should be avoided like they plague. They have the potential of ruining your reputation and tanking your revenue.


    Don't Leave Money on the Table -
    Every Email Counts

    Knowing every e-commerce email you need to send and when to send it is critical to growing your business. Leave out one email type in your campaign and you can end up leaving money on the table. And that is just not good for business.

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